ONE DAY, when Lillian Cosby was 15, she begged her mother not to send her to school that day.
She had dreamt that she would be struck by a car on her way to school. It was such a clear premonition that she was sure it would happen.
Her mother, of course, would hear none of it. She packed her daughter off as usual, and, sure enough, she was hit by a truck. She had to be hospitalized.
"I was so mad at my mother I wouldn't go home for three days," she said in an interview with the Inquirer in 1985.
It wasn't the only premonition of danger Lillian had over the years, but, being the first, she realized that she was different.
"That was the beginning," she said. "That was when I realized there was something strange about me. It brought out the other side of my life."
Lillian Cosby, who traveled the world to give psychic readings to people who needed help in coping with problems and worries, died Dec. 13 of complications of a stroke. She was 89 and lived in Wynnefield.
Kimberly Moore, her granddaughter, recalls traveling with her grandmom to Tokyo to give readings in the mid-'70s.
"We were there two weeks," said Kimberly, who was 15 at the time. "They put us up at the best hotel.
"People would send for her. She would sit down with them and listen to their concerns. They would want to know what was going to happen, and she would predict the future."
"I'm concerned about building a roadway, a map for a person so they can make their own decisions," she said in the Inquirer interview.
Lillian said some business executives would not make a move without consulting her.
She had read for numerous celebrities, including John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Sammy Davis Jr., Dick Gregory, Diahann Carroll and others.
Lillian didn't use crystal balls, Tarot cards or other gimmicks, and she turned down requests by police to help solve murder investigations.
That decision stemmed partially from an experience when a man called her and asked her to help him find his wife, who had been missing for three days.
"I told him the exact location of where she was," she said. The man drove to the South Jersey site and found his wife had been slain.
Police investigations were too difficult for her to handle, she said, because she would take on the emotions of those involved.
Lillian made a number of public appearances throughout the years. In 1981, the Black Women's Collective of America invited her to be the keynote speaker at a seminar at Temple University on how to develop psychic abilities.
She helped present "Mental Magic," a psychic program, at various venues. She appeared on Mary Mason's interview show, "Mornings with Mary," on WHAT Radio.
Lillian was born in Philadelphia the eldest of the 14 children of Virginia Scott and Fred Jones. She graduated from West Philadelphia High School and a business school from which she received an associate's degree in 1944.
She was married twice, to Hank Cosby and Robert Miller, both deceased.
"Lillian was an advocate for self-sufficiency, empowerment and the way of the Lord," her family said.
Her daughter, Marva E. Jackson, is deceased. She is survived by two other grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.